One of the most underreported crimes in Canada is elder abuse – a tragedy that affects hundreds of thousands of Canadians each year (roughly 10% of Canadians). For seniors facing domestic violence, leaving their abuser presents a completely distinct set of challenges.

At SAGE House, we welcome new clients with a community of fellow survivors. Post-isolation and abuse, a community like this is a powerful source of healing.

Julie and Linda both lived on the North Shore and hadn’t met before arriving at SAGE House. Two lovely immigrant women, who didn’t share a first language and spoke minimal English, surprised us when they quickly became inseparable. Their friendship radiated an unforgettable warmth throughout our shelter. Without exchanging many words, we would see them, for instance, relaxing outside on the deck – one would be tanning, the other enjoying a book – as life should be at 80.

During their time with us, their family members were contacted to establish safe new living situations. Before we said our goodbyes, they asked our staff to help them swap phone numbers. What a funny request, our Women’s Advocate thought. I wonder what they’d even talk about!

After all had settled, we were told that their two families stayed connected and made regular plans to meet so that Julie and Linda could live the rest of their lives with their new best friend.



Resources & References:

Sage Transition House (

Homeless Prevention Program (

General Information about North Shore Crisis Services Society Emergency Housing & Wrap-around Services (

Elder Abuse in Canada: A Gender-Based Analysis (

Crime and Abuse Against Seniors (

Elder Abuse (